The transcendental project in the words of the artist, is a project about curiosity and hope. Kaino, in collaboration with Scripps Institute of Technology scientists, developed a sculpture based on an experiment with bioluminescence. A rare bioluminescent liquid harvested from plankton creates an environment of awe and wonder. The Laboratory at Compound provides a space of contemplation and reflection. The audience is invited to make a wish and throw a coin into the well. The performative project perfectly fuses Kaino’s preoccupation with science and magic as the audience’s wish is visualized.
The second element to Kaino’s project is a cloud chamber. The artist is interested in visualizing the unseen and providing an abstract space of suspended time. In partnership with NASA designers, this dream-like environment stems from a particle detector wherein you can see radioactive waves without instrumentation. The artist reveals, “It is a reminder of the vulnerability of our physical bodies and the invisible streams of data passing through us everyday. The particles randomly present themselves… hoping to see an exotic particle from space. This pool quite literally will give our audience the ability to see the remnants of exploding stars.”
Los Angeles-born conceptual artist Glenn Kaino transforms conventional materials and forms, using the languages, logics, and economies of other creative disciplines as raw elements. Conceiving his practice as “conceptual kitbashing,” akin to a model maker’s way of appropriating readymade kits to assemble unique models, Kaino reconciles conflicting ideologies, opposing systems, and strict dichotomies in material and experiential ways.
Compound’s Artistic Director and Curator shares of the artist’s approach, “Kaino’s ability to develop new models and platforms for cultural production dovetails with the agility of his own artistic practice, which is exemplified by his invention of concepts, contexts, and languages to interrogate art, science, history, popular culture, technology, and politics.” - Lauri Firstenberg